Edward Snowden and the activists have constantly been demanding the National Security Agency to stop spying on the personal lives of the people. Well, the good news has finally arrived. The NSA, under the Patriot Act, will be calling off its bulk phone surveillance program from tomorrow i.e. November 29th.
The Congress had ordered this step back in June and had given way to the USA Freedom Act that banned collection of metadata (information related to calls made by citizens). So NSA will now replace the bulk phone surveillance program with other spying programs that are better-targeted. The end to the NSA’s spy program was announced by the White House, and accordingly, the program will see its end at 11:59 PM EST Saturday, that’s 4:59 AM GMT Sunday.
This step has been eagerly awaited by tech companies, activists, and privacy advocates. The USA Freedom Act prevents the NSA and other law enforcement agencies from collecting bulk telephone records in order to sniff suspicious activities. So if the NSA or any such agency needs to collect someone’s telephone record, it will have to take permission from the court.
However, the end of this program does not mean that all the previously collected data will be deleted immediately. Instead, all the metadata that NSA collected in the last 5 years will be archived for data integrity purposes until February 29, 2016. The NSA will delete all the records after the aforementioned date once it resolves the pending litigation.